News and Tribune

June 4, 2013

Police arrest suspects in burglary ring

At least 21 cars broken into in last two weeks

By CHRIS MORRIS
chris.morris@newsandtribune.com

NEW ALBANY —

Two New Albany men are behind bars and face numerous burglary charges following their arrests Monday afternoon.

Joseph P. Urbano, 25, of the 800 block of Catherine Place, faces four counts of theft while Charles A. Barbour, 22, of the 500 block of Vincennes Street, is preliminarily charged with five counts of theft and one count of reckless possession of a syringe.

Floyd County Sheriff Darrell Mills said his officers took numerous car break-in reports early Saturday morning in the Greenville area. He said 21 cars were broken into over a two-week period in Floyd, Harrison and Washington counties, and said Urbano and Barbour were involved in those break-ins.

“A tri-county theft ring over the last few days has hopefully come to a stop,” Mills said during a press conference Tuesday.

One of the victims called police after she noticed her stolen debit card had been used at Walmart in New Albany. Walmart surveillance video and stills not only identified Urbano and Barbour, but also the car they were driving. 

Floyd County Police Chief Ted Heavrin and Maj. Jeff Topping located the car on Charlestown Road on Monday afternoon and along with Lt. Frank Loop, initiated a traffic stop in an alley in the rear of Catherine Place where the two were apprehended.

Topping said items recovered included two laptops, iPads, iPhones, three pistols and other items, including debit cards, totaling “several thousands of dollars.” Mills said the burglaries occurred to support a heroin addiction. He said the pistols were sold to known heroin dealers, and the department hopes to recover those soon. He said the laptops were located at two local pawn shops.

“They have been very cooperative,” Mills said of the two defendants. “This case is still under investigation.”

All of the items were taken from unlocked vehicles. Mills said some of the vehicles were parked in garages, but the garage doors were open. He said it is “very important” to always lock vehicles and garages.

“It seems like lately all of the thefts come back to heroin in some ways,” Mills said.

The two men are in the Floyd County Jail.